It gets earlier and earlier every year – the annual ornament, wrapping, tinsel and trimming reveals at the major retailers. Sure it can be somewhat disconcerting to be reminded that Christmas is bearing down on us at a rate of knots. However, I must admit to a fissure of anticipation and a guilty pleasure at being among the first to see the on trend colours and looks for the coming festive season.
It’s time to get focused. How will I use fabulous ornaments to wrap gifts? Every ornament is a present topper waiting to be deployed. How will I wrap (aka trim) the tree? How will I wrap (aka set and style) the table? It’s all wrapping to me.
So I started out on my annual retail crawl and I have to say that I was not alone. There we all were in the first weeks of October – people of all ages – okay women of all ages – filling baskets and trolleys with the picks of the season. Because if there is one thing we trawlers know, it is that while there are shelves upon shelves of unforgivably tacky Christmas junk, there are also some adorable box above their weight items to be had but only if you get in quickly. The good stuff fairly flies off the shelves.
So which store has the Christmas trimmings nailed for Christmas 2015?
First up Kmart. Now I felt sure that Kmart would be the gold standard this year given they have been spot on with their clever catalogues and homemaker lines at fabulous prices. They had all the standard Christmas trinkets but alas…. none of the pop pieces that I was hoping for. Yes, I did like their gold gnomes. Yes I did like the icy icicle storage jars, yes I did like the wooden Santa storage boxes and yes I really liked the gold dot or chevron placemats at $2.00 (interestingly all homemaker items in a way) but the rest of the Christmas stuff was a bit ho ho humdrum. I’m afraid.
Next to Target where I was really absolutely pleasantly surprised because Target has been a bit all over the place of recent times. But for Christmas 2015, Target has some super looks in white and mint (the colour of the season for the cool kids) as well as pinks and greys. Target also has some fabulous China decorator items with white Christmas trees, copper stars and red or white reindeer. Loving their wreaths made of white bells and their colouring in wrapping paper. They have a great range of tree ornaments starting at $5.00. So snaps to you Target.
Then onto Big W, which I used to love for a cheeky homemaker bargain and children’s wear before it lost its mojo and I defected to Kmart. However, there’s a rich seam of ornaments a Big W at sensational prices which I do suspect won’t last long at all. I love the felt pieces and glittering goodies (from doves to reindeer to champagne crowns to diamanté-encrusted boxes) all at between $3.00 and 45.00. Genius. The rest of the stuff is pretty standard but with trinkets like these, Big W you are excused.
The Reject shop left me feeling a little rejected and dejected. Plenty of Christmas stuff but all quite old fashioned and dull looking and the quality of some of the items was a bit dubious. If I had to buy something at the Reject Shop (besides the dishwasher tablets which are good value though under appreciated as a present) I’d go for the Christmas gift bags, a glittery few of which fare well. But other than that, slim pickings. Maybe there is more Christmas stock on the way.
I also popped into Myer and DJ’s, the department stores who would position themselves above the chain store fray. The centerpiece of the Myer look is a series of Christmas trees in various themes. But the result is a bit mish mash, which makes finding the ornament and trimming gems a bit problematic.
I did like the Nordic look featuring mint (more mint mmmmm) ornaments and fabulous little knitted sweaters that appear to be replicas of what Princess Mary dresses her children in. I also liked the pink and champagne palette. Quite lovely, though v v v girlie. As you would expect the prices are higher than the chain stores and in some cases I can’t see a big difference in quality or look. Of course, Myer always features model railways with winter scenes and canned Bavarian music so that has to count for something.
Over to DJ’s where the trees and the trimmings are up but there’s very little that stands out as new. Yes there are some delicious ornaments but they are pricey and they are displayed alongside some very average ornaments, which are also pricey. So it’s left to the DJ’s staple – the Christmas cracker to carry the load. And it must be acknowledged that very few places do Christmas crackers like DJ’s – I am still very fond of the miniature hip flask in my cracker from last year. And the bonus of a good cracker is that it virtually dresses the table for you.
My advice is to pop into the chain stores – even the ones you are not normally fond of. Shop early and shop often for the best looks at the best prices because as they say the early bird (or festive Dove) catches the worm.